August 2020 - August 2021
Discover the The Yellowstone of Europe on bike in search of bears, lynx and eurasian bison.FIND A DATE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Bucharest Henri Coanda Airport / Bucharest Henri Coanda Airport
You’re beginning to feel at one with the river or mountain. You’re content with 4-5 hours of activity a day for 2-3 days.
The Carpathian mountain range is one of the greatest areas of biodiversity in Europe. The area is critical for the survival and growth in the population of apex carnivores that inhabit the area. Support the growth of Europes' largest forest national park- Făgăraș Mountains and be part of the solution by connecting protected areas, replanting projects, preventing illegal loggers & poaching and monitoring bears in this unique wilderness.
This epic cycle adventure is a journey over 160-kilometres through the Carpathian Mountains and picturesque medieval Saxon villages of Romania. Travelling the landscape by bike is the perfect way to explore and connect to nature.
Zalánpatak. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales's private nature retreat lies nestled amongst the meadows and hills of Zalán Valley in Transylvania. The property has kept its Transylvanian authenticity by having been carefully restored with traditional methods and materials.
Spend time with Europe’s leading conservationists, and visit local wildlife hides for a chance to experience bears in the wild. Learn from a 3rd generation blacksmith about his craft and enjoy numerous wild experiences throughout the week.
Supporting the reforestation efforts and learning about the bears that call this place home.
Day 1 - Arrival, Transfer and Dinner
You will be picked up from Bucharest Henri Coanda airport by a local representative with an IGO adventures sign and transferred by minibus to the village of Simon, in the Transylvania region. Overnight at Hanul Balaban with a splendid hilltop location. The house, built more than 100 years ago, was dismantled and moved from the Simon valley below and reconstructed as part of the Inn on Balaban. In the Inn’s three hand-crafted houses, antique furniture, traditional elegant peasant-styled architecture, and local folklore take you back to the heart of 'old' Romania. At dinner time you will meet with Sergiu Paca, your main local guide during the tour.
Accommodation: Boutique hotel, Simon village : 850 m
Day 2 - Cycle through Magura and through gorges
In the morning we start our first day of cycling with a beautiful descent at the footstep of Bucegi Mountains and we have Kings Rock Mountains (Piatra Craiului National Park) on the horizon, the most famous ridge in Romania. Once in the valley, in the second half of our morning ride we have a 30 to 45 minutes uphill ride to our lunch village, Măgura, a place with beautiful views around towards both Bucegi and Kings Rock Mountains. Piatra Craiului National Park was famous for being the base for more than 10 years of a research and conservation project about wolves, bears and lynx called the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project (CLCP) supported by international organizations, such as WWF and considered to be a model on the European level. The project finished in 2003. From here its downhill cycling to Zărnești through the famous Zărnești Gorges, a spectacular canyon at the east side of Piatra Craiului where you might even spot wallcreepers. Then up again over the Perșani small mountains towards ȘincaNoua village for dinner and overnight accommodation.
Accommodation: Guest House
Day 3 - Cycle to Cabor through a wilderness reserve and visit a local bio farm
We start with a smooth downhill towards the Olt River valley and from there through agricultural fields we are heading to Cobor Farm where we arrive in time for lunch. You are now in Saxon Transylvania area, one of Europe’s last surviving medieval landscapes. You will travel through timeless Saxon villages where traditional farming is still in use, explore their fantastic fortified churches, enjoy the almost unspoiled countryside with its astonishing richness of wild-flower meadows, and forests teeming with wildlife which is extinct in other parts of Western Europe After lunch we will visit the farm and the two restored Saxon traditional houses. The farm has 500 ha of land where they keep horses and cattle. The farm has the Grey cattle herd, a unique sight in the Transylvanian hills. The farm maintains traditional cattle grazing methods with this hardy cattle breed. The biodiversity of the area can only be conserved if traditional land management continues alongside cattle grazing - considered to be the most suitable grassland biodiversity. The Cobor Biodiversity Farm also runs a breeding programme for the indigenuous Carpathian Shepherd Dog. Many puppies can be found throughout the year at the farm. They are bred and offered for free to sheep owners in the Fagaras Mountains for protecting the herds, thus preventing losses caused by large carnivores among domestic animals. The Farm is a green business of Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC), a Romanian NGO that wants to create a new, world-class wilderness reserve in the Southern Romanian Carpathians for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities ( www.carpathia.org). The tourist side of the business is just an added value in order to bring people closest to nature, to what it means biodiversity and the struggle to protect it.
Accommodation: Guest House
Day 4 - Learn the ways of traditional blacksmiths and cycle to Zabola estate
After breakfast we will visit a local blacksmith – Nagy Gyorgy- who is still doing the craft as it was done 100 years ago. He is the 3rd generation in his family to have been in the trade. After the visit we start the ride from Talisoara to ZalanPatak. A short beautiful day in the Subcarpathian hills. Medium difficulty but with beautiful views once we get on top of the two big hills we have to conquer once we get closer to our destination village, situated in a wild beautiful valley. Overnight accommodation at Zalanpatak. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales's private nature retreat lies nestled amongst the meadows and hills of Zalán Valley (Zalánpatak, ValeaZălanului) in Transylvania, Romania. The property has kept its Transylvanian authenticity by having been carefully restored with traditional methods and materials.
Accommodation: HRH Prince of Wales' guest lodge
Day 5 - Last day cycle and Bear hide
For the Last day we start in a wild and remote valley. In the morning we have to conquer a hill that will remind us of the mountains on the first day of our ride. Around noon we will be briefly on a national road riding smoothly downhill on the Olt River Valley again. But this is only a 30 minutes ride and then we find ourselves riding on empty and wild roads with views over the Carpathian Mountains, riding through agricultural lands and meadows. We will head to the village of Zabola for overnight accommodation at the Count Mikes estate. The estate is very secluded, in a beautiful area at the foothills of hills covered with beechwoods, on a 40 ha of parkland. In the evening you can have a walk through its tree-lined avenues and lawns, visiting also the 16th century Mikes castle. The property consists of the castle that is connected through a 50m long tunnel with a large villa built at the beginning of the 20th century for the offices of the Estate.
Accommodation: Boutique Luxury Estate
Day 6 - Transfer to the airport for flight back home.
We'll be travelling from Zabala to Bucharest airport, approximate 3 hrs and a half driving time (245 kms) through the countryside.
Inn on Balaban
From its splendid hilltop location, you’ll enjoy the Inn’s local home cooking, the best of Romanian wines, and television-free quiet (wi-fi is available).
In the Inn’s three hand-crafted houses, antique furniture, traditional elegant peasant-styled architecture, and local folklore take you back to the heart of 'old' Romania.
Tucked away into the pastures on the edge of the traditional village of Șinca Nouă, lies Equus Silvania, a guesthouse and riding centre that passionately combines international standards and animal treatment with Romanian traditions, cuisine and lifestyle
You will be staying at Daniel Castle, a 17th century Transylvanian castle beautifully restored. The Farm is a green business of Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC), a Romanian NGO that wants to create a new, world-class wilderness reserve in the Southern Romanian Carpathians for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales's private nature retreat lies nestled amongst the meadows and hills of Zalán Valley (Zalánpatak, ValeaZălanului) in Transylvania, Romania. The property has kept its Transylvanian authenticity by having been carefully restored with traditional methods and materials.
The Machine house
We will be staying in The Machine House which dates back from the 18th century and it hosted the machinery & the generator of the estate plus the textile machinery. In 2006 the house was carefully and stylishly refurbished. Today offers a unique combination of bygone elegance, modern comforts and exceptional cuisine. The menus are based on unpublished family cookbooks from old noble houses in Transylvania. The kitchen garden of the estate provides most of the organic vegetables, fruits and herbs . Milk products and meat are bought from farmers in Zabola village.
Bucharest Henri Coanda Airport
Bucharest Henri Coanda Airport
Sergiu started guiding on foot and Mountain bikes in Romania more than a decade ago.
His passion is cross country cycling and started riding mtb's at 13, back in '93. Riding is his hobby, job and life. I'm also a keen historian and i successfully combined my two hobbies in one job.
"I'm a recognised MIAS MTB guide & instructor but also a cultural guide recognised by Romanian authorities. I love my area and i'm very happy to have the possibility to introduce it to our guest who visit Transylvania along to introducing them to my cycling hobby."
Air conditioned mini bus transfer to and from the airport
Local area experts that will be with you for the duration of the adventure
Electric or standard, high spec mountain bikes
Cycling is fully supported at all points on the route
Accommodation & Meals
Comfortable, local accommodation and food
Entry to the areas of interest
September is usually stable weather, good temperatures for cycling. During morning and in the evenings temperatures can drop.
In most places food is traditional romanian food with a very short foodchain. A few of the hotels offer gourmet cuisine. If we have the information in time any ditary requirement will be satisfied.
All bags will be in a van that will follow the group.
We have ebikes available which makes a huge difference and a very nice experience riding one of those. We would encourage any guests who have second thoughts about their ability to climb Transylvanian hills to opt for a ebike.
Our adventures typically require 5 people to go ahead. Please book when you're ready but hold off from purchasing flights/trains until we confirm the trip.
If you are a group of over 4 people, please get in touch to organise a bespoke trip by clicking here.